The Benefits of Being Nearly Bald

The nagging urge to shave my head started in July sometime.  I’m not sure where it came from, but it wouldn’t go away.  It could be because it’s summertime.  Or my newly found sense of freedom.  Maybe change is in the air.  Or because I’m a logger.  Haha – God that sounds funny!!  Could it be a mid-life crisis?  Or perhaps it was just because I could.

Erik, Weston, Asad and Shawn (pictured, in order, above) all use electric trimmers to shave their heads.  I admire their clean and fresh look.  I was tired of paying a fortune and going to a salon for a simple, no-frills haircut.  I hated having to make an appointment.  In general I’m a planner – but when it comes to my hair, I am impulsive and spontaneous.  I envied the freedom and flexibility my sons enjoyed – being able to cut their hair at will… for free!!  I wanted to be just like them!

George, being camera-shy, before his buzz cut.

Last week George complained that he needed a haircut and Weston offered to do it.  Weston used to cut George’s hair for $7 a cut – but when Weston raised his rate, George went back to his regular barber in protest.  George was Weston’s only customer, so Weston was out of business for a couple years.  On Tuesday, Weston cut George’s hair for free.  When they were done, I quietly took the trimmer into the bathroom, closed the door and contemplated what to do.  There aren’t a lot of style options with an electric trimmer.  Even less when you’ve never used one.  So I played it safe and just cut the sides of my hair.  At quick glance or from a distance, it didn’t look too bad. But it didn’t satisfy my urge.

On Thursday, Weston and George were out of the house and I was alone – which is always dangerous.  I was scheduled to go to work at 6:30pm to meet with a family.  So with a full day ahead of me and a ton of housework, I was looking for a distraction.  The electric trimmer heard my cries.  I was sure it called my name, so I went to find it.  It was packed neatly in its black cloth bag waiting for me.  I opened up an empty pizza box across the bathroom sink.  Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?  I found the longest attachment (1/2″), clicked it into place, plugged in the trimmer and turned it on. Buzzzzzzzzzzz….. As I heard the buzzing and felt the pulsing vibration in my hand, I was overcome with a sense of exhilaration!  I couldn’t wait to unveil the mystery of my head!

With each stroke of plastic teeth against my scalp, neat piles of salt and pepper hair fell from my head and into the pizza box.  The trimmer buzzed across the sides of my hair, rising closer to the top with each pass.  It reminded me of mowing the lawn and the satisfaction of seeing the multiplying rows of fresh cut grass.  I hesitated before I passed the point of no return – but only for an instant.  I smiled, snickered and buzzed another row and another and another.  At one point, I had a Mohawk and thought how funny it would be to leave it like that.  But it seemed much funnier to keep going and I was more and more amused as the pizza box filled with my hair.

Thoughts ran through my nearly bald head.  How will George react?  What will my co-workers think?  Is my scalp going to get sunburned?  Will strangers stare or turn away? Will people think I have cancer?  The fact was – I didn’t care.  And that empowering feeling made me even more giddy.  It was only 10:30 in the morning and I was nearly finished when George walked in the house.  He was several hours earlier than I expected. I wasn’t ready for him.  Fortunately, he was just stopping by on his way to buy fuel for the skidder and he left as quick as he came.  He never asked me what I was doing behind the closed door.  Phew!!

I finished buzzing my hair, cleaned up the clippings and prepared myself for the day. Weston called and asked me to pick him up at 1:00.  That was perfect.  I told him what I had done and asked him to clean up the back of my haircut.  I sensed Weston’s fearful anticipation as I hung up the phone and imagined him telling his friend, “My mother just shaved her head.”  I laughed some more.  Then my office called and said they needed me to come in to meet with the family at 2:00 instead of 6:30.  Mild panic set in.  Was I ready to greet the world?!!  I was still a stranger to myself.

Weston, our eternally calm son, acted mildly surprised when he saw my new haircut.  When George saw me, he was speechless and in shock.  He stood in the dining room with his mouth wide open for several seconds. When he found his voice, all he could say was “WOW!” – over and over and over again.  There was a sparkle in his eyes and I knew he was amused.  Finally, when the “wows” were exhausted, he said, “I like it!”  And I knew he did.  For two more days, the “wows” followed by a big smile continued every time George saw me. When Erik came by the house, he was not at all pleased.  He just kept asking, “Why did you do that?” as I smiled broadly knowing that I didn’t have to answer that question.

At lunch today I realized that I have the same haircut as all the detectives at my office. Buzzcut envy no more!!  Being nearly bald is pretty cool.  Now that I’m buzzed, it will be pretty hard to go back.  No more bedhead.  The wind can’t mess it up.  It dries really quickly.  Wearing a hat doesn’t give me hathead.  I use less shampoo.  It’s free.  I can cut it myself.  Male chauvinists won’t talk to me (I hope).  My husband, sons and I have matching hairstyles.  And best of all…. it makes my husband smile!!

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4 Responses to The Benefits of Being Nearly Bald

  1. Tammy White says:

    You look adorable! And you ARE adorable! Sorry, I know thats not what you were going for, Kara, but, great story and thanks so much for sharing! What an inspiration you continue to be! (Though I am not planning on shaving my hair any time soon!)

  2. Linda Putney says:

    It looks great on you, Kara. I cut my own hair all the time. I cut Chuck’s too!

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